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Spider-Man

Superman
Using Scholastic
ELT Readers

Billy Elliot
Batman
Begins

Catwoman
Smallville

Pink
Panther

Monster House

INTRODUCTION
WHY USE READERS?

are not deterred or intimidated by extensive text. Feedback from


teachers underlined how significant visuals were to adolescent
learners, consequently colour photos are used throughout the
text and a strong emphasis is put on attractive design.
Our Readers incorporate an important element of background
information via the unique magazine-style Fact Files. Interviews
with the characters, behind-the-scenes insight into the film/TV
programme, theme development and cross-cultural references
expand content and are adaptable for class or independent use.
The integrated Self-Study Activities allow the student to check
his or her comprehension independently of the class and teacher
at various intervals throughout the story. There are activities that
the student can complete before, during and after reading each
title. Answers are in the Teacher Resource Sheets included in this
booklet. The Resource Sheets present further ideas for exploitation
of each Reader and specific extension tasks that complement the
Self-Study Activities.
The majority of Scholastic ELT Readers have audio available to
accompany the text. The CD provides a full graded recording of
the story read by professional actors at a speed appropriate for
the level of the text. Reading the text whilst listening to the audio
has been shown to increase eye-reading speed, and the audio
can be used for both extensive and intensive listening purposes.
The original programmes and films are widely available and
present a wealth of possibilities extending the range of the Reader.
Suggestions for exploitation of the audio and screen versions are
detailed below.

Readers are widely accepted as a beneficial language learning


resource for students. As an introduction to this guide, here are a
few of the many ways in which readers are an invaluable asset to
the language learning process.
Flexible resource: readers are a versatile tool for use in the
classroom and a source of independent study
Cultural benefits: readers can introduce and expose learners to
different elements of English-speaking cultures and expand
general knowledge
Learner autonomy: students can choose what they would like to
read, promoting independent learning
Schemata: learners will often choose a reader based on a subject
of which they have pre-conceived knowledge; the activation of
this knowledge will benefit their learning process
Skill development: readers promote extensive reading which in
turn develops faster and more fluent readers
Language awareness: readers increase exposure to graded
grammar, vocabulary and spelling in an engaging context
Further opportunities: ideas introduced in the text can be
developed further through writing, speaking and listening
activities in addition to reading
Reading promotion: if students read and understand it will
encourage them to read more

WHY USE SCHOLASTIC ELT READERS?

HOW OUR READERS WORK

Mary Glasgow and Scholastic have a 50-year history of producing


youth-focused learning materials. Our experience has shown that
foreign language students will acquire language more easily and
naturally if they are interested in the content; the medium, the
language, becomes unimportant.
The range of Scholastic ELT Readers includes motivating,
contemporary titles adapted from popular films and television
programmes, such as Superman Returns, The Pink Panther, Buffy
the Vampire Slayer and Malcolm in the Middle. In addition to the
appealing subject matter, they also constitute a sound academic
resource by following a carefully graded syllabus. The Readers
are based on a pedagogical framework but also deal with
contemporary themes and issues that reflect the lives of
teenagers today.
Initial market research revealed that the extent of a text was an
important factor for teachers. Scholastic ELT Readers reflect the
preference for books of a manageable length, ensuring learners

Scholastic ELT Readers are divided into four levels of grading, and
are compatible with the Mary Glasgow magazine levels (see below).
The headwords which aid level definition are the words that a
student would be expected to recognise at that level. Words that
might require glossing are recorded at the back of the Reader
with space for students to provide L1 definitions. These words
can be used as the basis of vocabulary games and practice, and
consist of vocabulary specific to the reader that students at that
level would be unlikely to know. There are 15 at Starter Level, 20
at Levels 1 & 2, and 25 at Level 3.
Each Reader follows the same structure: firstly, the characters
and their relationships are introduced with photos and descriptions,
followed by the story. Supplementary pages consisting of Fact Files
and integrated Self-Study Activities come after the story, providing
opportunities to track students progress and understanding. At
the back of each book is the key words vocabulary list.

Level

Level

Common European
Framework level

Magazine

Headwords

Story word count

Starter

Beginner

Pre-A1

CLICK

300 headwords

Up to 1,500 words

Level 1

Elementary

A1

CLICK/CROWN

600 headwords

Up to 4,000 words

Level 2

Pre-Intermediate

A2

CROWN/TEAM

1,000 headwords

Up to 7,000 words

Level 3

Intermediate

B1

TEAM

1,500 headwords

Up to 10,000 words

Scholastic Ltd

Using Readers

USING READERS
CHOOSING A READER

be motivated if they can teach the teacher and their classmates.


A confidence-building introduction to a Reader is to allow your
students to explore how much they know as a class already.

When choosing a Reader motivation is a key factor. Surveys


conducted around the world have indicated that adolescent
learners are motivated to read about popular culture.
Whether reading individually or in a group, it is important that
learners are encouraged to develop a personal response, whether
it be negative or positive, to enable them to engage with the text
and make an clear decision on what book to read next.

TIP! Brainstorming on the board before opening the book will


produce vocabulary, character and place names, themes and ideas
that they know may be included in the reader. Brainstorming
Buffy the Vampire Slayer might produce the characters names
(Buffy, Giles etc.), the location(s) of the story (Sunnydale), and
specific vocabulary that your students are unlikely to have come
across in textbooks (for example, vampire, demon).

Choosing for a class


When choosing for whole classes there are several ways to
ensure that everyone feels their preferences are considered.
Dividing the class up and allowing one group at a time to choose
a Reader is a tried and tested approach. Given that most titles will
be familiar to them, let the class vote, or split the class into
groups allowing each group a turn to choose the class reader.
Alternatively, conduct an activity that involves students matching
the blurb from the back of the Readers to the titles. Once they
have completed a task like this, they will be familiar with the
possible stories to choose from.

This could be an opportunity to introduce vocabulary from the


New Words list at the back of the book. You may want to use
bilingual dictionaries to translate the words, or elicit meanings in
L2, depending on the level of your students. If you feel the New
Words list is too extensive for learners to absorb at once, students
can use the Self-Study Activities where all new words are pre-taught
as and when they appear in the text.
Guess the story: show the cover and elicit vocabulary and ideas.
In groups students write the plot outline. These can then be kept
for after reading the story and students can compare which one
was the closest to the plot.
Character introduction: introduce the characters using pages 4
and 5 of the Readers and ask students to guess the plot based
on the people involved. Alternatively, ask students to predict or
invent more information about the characters than is provided.
Images: copy the pictures that appear throughout the Reader,
and ask students in groups to rearrange them according to the
order they think the pictures will appear in the story.
Chapter titles: give students chapter headings and ask them to
decide in which order they appear in the book.

Choosing for reading rings


If reading as a class is not possible or practical, another idea is to
set up reading rings. Four or five students read the same text and
the context of the group provides opportunities for feedback and
clarification. Many of the activity suggestions below can easily be
adapted for reading rings.

Choosing for individuals


It is important in terms of motivation that a student is allowed to
choose his or her own text, and that they are interested in the
subject matter. It is reassuring for students to know that they can
select another text if they are not enjoying their initial choice.

WHILST READING
The objective for activities completed by students whilst reading
a text is to develop comprehension to a point of retelling ability,
and in turn increase enjoyment of the story and reading in
English. Another aim is to help students understand what is not
explicitly stated. The ability to infer themes, emotions and ideas
that are not directly referred to is a valuable skill that Readers can
help develop.
A whats happened so far? quiz: ask students to create questions
based on the text and then test each other in groups. Alternatively,
as a precursor to reading the next section, you could prepare
questions beforehand and the class could compete in teams.
Character analysis: explore a particular character, finding
adjectives in the text used to describe them and present a
summary to the class.
Dialogue: take different sections of dialogue out of the text and
read them to the class, asking them to remember who said it,
what they were referring to, where they were, to whom they said
it and what was happening in the story at the time. As an example
using Catwoman, match the following elements of dialogue to the
person who said them, and the person it was said to:

IN CLASS ACTIVITIES
Choosing appropriate activities for students to complete during
the reading process allows students to engage further with the
story and the characters, aiding comprehension and connection
with the text. Below are some activity suggestions grouped into
before reading, whilst reading and after reading activities, but
many of the ideas can be used and reused in other sections.
In order to maximise the advantages of reading as a class it is
important that the reading is structured and organised. Students
will benefit from being accountable for their reading, being given
a section to read and then giving feedback via class discussion or
exercises. This will consolidate knowledge of the text, and give
students the opportunity for clarification.
There will be language items that students will be unsure of
when they first approach the text. It is important that these are
addressed but not to the detriment of fluid reading. Ideally
graded readers should not be the focus of intensive language
study, but rather for reading enjoyment. However, students will
come across new vocabulary and aspects of language that can be
consolidated with exercises such as those in the self-study
section. These before and after reading activities include
vocabulary discovery tasks and a variety of exercises designed to
make students accountable for their reading and to enhance
their comprehension.

Whats your flat number? (Police officer to Patience)


I went out there to rescue that cat. (Patience to police officer)
Women want to look beautiful. (George Hedare to the other
company directors)
I dont like these designs at all. (George Hedare to Patience)

BEFORE READING

Acting dialogue: after reading a chapter, ask students to focus


on the dialogue of a particular character. In groups, they act out
a scene using the dialogue in the Reader. This could be extended
to role-play predicting what will happen in the rest of the chapter,
and presenting those ideas to the class.
Summary: in pairs students write a summary of whats happened
in the story so far, paraphrasing or noting down the key points.

A taster of the Reader before they start reading can engage and
motivate learners. As most Scholastic ELT Readers are based on
films and television programmes that your students might know,
it is likely that they will have some background knowledge of the
story and characters. This is a positive starting point; students will
Scholastic Ltd

Using Readers

Event ordering: photocopy a section of the text with as many


sentences as there are students in the class. Students learn their
sentence by heart, and then move around the class repeating
their sentences to each other in order to line themselves up in
the correct order of the text. When they are certain they are in
order, they can recite their lines in sequence to check.
Word stand-up: each student is allocated a word that appears
regularly in the text. As the teacher reads aloud or the audio
track is played, each time their word is read out students have
to stand up and sit down again.
Timelines: ask students to draw a timeline of the events that
take place during the story/chapter.
Family trees: students draw a map of who is connected to
whom, and collate any factual details about characters name,
age, job and so on.
Gap-fill: take a paragraph of the text they have already read and
blank out every seventh word. Students remember what they
have read in order to complete the text.
Matching: in groups, students prepare facts about different
characters. The groups then test each other in a game-show style.
Adjectives: prepare groups of adjectives and ask students to
allocate the words to different characters, comparing different
groups answers to see if they correspond.
Definitions: before reading a new chapter, prepare new words
and definitions for students to match. Then, after reading the
section they can go back and see if their interpretations were
correct.
Chapter posters: groups summarise the main ideas and key
events after reading each chapter and create a chapter poster for
class reference.

halves of sentences for comprehension and development.


Conditionals: for higher levels, ask them to discuss alternative
possibilities for the story using conditionals. To prompt the activity,
ask them to imagine they are a character and how they might
think at various points in the story:
If I were Patience Philips, (I would) (Catwoman)
If I were Frank, (I would) (Angelas Ashes)
If I were Lois Lane, (I would) (Superman Returns)

AFTER READING
It is important to give students the opportunity to feed back after
reading the book, and share their ideas and reactions. Below are
some activity suggestions which can be modified to fit different
groupings in class.

Writing
Review: students write a review of the book, commenting on
character, plot, themes, the ending and so on, and awarding the
Reader a rating out of five stars.
Rewriting: students work in pairs to rewrite the ending or the
denouement of the story. They read this aloud to the class, and
the class votes on which ending they like the most.
Blurb: in pairs students rewrite the blurb on the back of the
book, including the elements that they think are the most
important to the story.
Synopsis: students write a synopsis of the story, focusing on
main events and characters.
Diaries: students choose a character and write a diary entry from
two different points during the book.
Biography: students choose a character and write a biography of
that character, beginning at the end of the book. What did he or
she go on to do with his or her life?
Agony aunt: learners choose a difficult point in the story for a
particular character and write an agony aunt letter explaining their
problems at that stage in the story asking for advice. Other students
could respond to these letters with suggestions.
Captions: in pairs, students write captions for the images
throughout the book.
Surveys: ask students to write and conduct surveys about the
Reader and/or film or television programme it is based on.
Students can present their findings to the rest of the class.

FOCUS ON LANGUAGE
Vocabulary
It is important that students are given the chance to read without
analysing every word. Part of the skill of reading in another
language is the ability to infer meaning from context and not be
hindered by unknown words. However, there will be important
vocabulary that needs to be explored and explained.
Vocabulary games: keep a collection of new words that appear
in the text which can then be used for fillers and warmers.
Hangman is always popular with teenage classes, as is Pictionary
(students draw the word and their team has to guess what it is)
and Actionary (students have to act out a word). Create a box of
cards with a word per card and the definition or word type
recorded on the back.
Themed words: give pairs a theme from the text such as love,
school, family and they find any words that are connected with
that theme. They produce a mind-map with definitions if necessary
which can then be displayed in the classroom as a reference tool.
Summary: write a summary of the text blanking out the key words
from the text. Students work in pairs to complete the summary.

Speaking
Acting: in groups students act out a scene and recreate what
happens in the book. If they prefer, they can change the ending.
Interviews: students can script and conduct an interview, one
partner playing a character, the other the interviewer.
Presentation: in groups students research a theme or topic from
the Fact Files, and teach their research to the rest of the class.
Discussion: take themes from the book and use them to start
discussions and debates, either in groups or pairs. The Fact Files
suggest themes such as I want to be perfect: plastic surgery
(Catwoman) or Should boys do ballet? (Billy Elliot), both of which
could form the basis of a for or against debate.
Running dictation: a passage from the text is stuck to one wall
of the classroom. Working in pairs, student A sits at the other end
of the classroom acting as scribe. Student B has to run to the text,
memorise a section, run back to student A and dictate the text.

Grammar & Structure


Although the primary aim is to allow students to read the text for
enjoyment and not to hesitate over language structures, Readers
can be used for limited controlled language practice.
Sentence structure: at lower level texts students can practise
connecting simple sentences, using words such as so, but,
because, and so on.
Retelling: in pairs, students write a summary of the events in the
story in the present tense, concentrating on sentence structure
and grammar.
Examples: provide students with gap-fill sentences that feature
language points they have recently learnt.
Contractions: Ask students to focus on contractions and replace
them with the full word forms.
Reported speech: take specific lines of dialogue and students
transfer them into reported speech.
Finishing sentences: give groups beginnings of sentences, either
constructed yourself and based on the Reader or taken from the
text, and ask students to finish them, focusing on grammar and
sentence construction. Alternatively, ask them to match two
Scholastic Ltd

GENERAL ACTIVITIES
Hot-seating characters: a student chooses a character to be, and
sits in the centre of the room in the hot-seat. Other students ask
him or her questions to establish which character they have adopted,
and the student in the centre has to answer in character. Questions
can only be answered with yes or no.
Adopt a character mill drill: students choose to be a character,
and they move around the classroom asking a question they
have prepared and answering other questions in character. Once
all the students have spoken to each other, they form groups to
work out who everyone is and then feed back as a class.
Matching dialogue: find pairs of statements and replies, writing

Using Readers

It is important that the accompanying audio is primarily


connected in the students minds to reading for pleasure. They
have chosen a particular reader because it interests them, and
the aim is to motivate students to read for the same reasons they
would in L1. As students listen the story becomes more natural
and familiar to them until they become unaware that they are
listening in a foreign language. This type of language acquisition
is ideal as they become less aware of the language learning
process. The audio can be used in place of the teacher reading
aloud; a change of voice and an animated reading of the text is
another motivational factor.

them on separate slips of paper. Give students a slip of paper


each and ask them to memorise what is on the paper. Take the
slips of paper away. They must find their partner by going around
the room and repeating their sentence, listening to others in
order to find the other half of their dialogue.

FACT FILES
Discussion: each Fact File has questions that can be used as a
springboard for class or group discussion, giving the students an
opportunity to engage with the themes of the Reader on a
personal level, and also a chance to practise the vocabulary and
language they have learnt through the text. Alternatively these
questions could form the basis of a writing activity.
Fact File creation: students can write their own Fact Files, creating
posters or pages that could be collated to form a class Fact File
book. Ask them to work in groups and choose a theme from the
story that they would like to explore.
Projects: students can conduct further research on the subject of
an existing Fact File. Developments could include organizations,
historical events, themes, character history in terms of creation
and development (Batman originating from a comic, for example)
and places. Students can use the Internet, libraries and other
resources. Present findings to class and make a poster to display
in the classroom.
Origins of story: what was the sequence of events from initial
idea to final media production? Some readers started with books,
so students can find out if these were biographies, novels or
comics. Students investigating readers that started as TV
programmes can find out when they were aired, in what format
etc. Film based-readers can trigger questions such as who played
the main characters, where it was filmed and how much the
reader or film has in common with the original story.
Creator research: Students can use the Internet and other sources
to research the creator/director of the programme or film: Joss
Whedon, creator of Buffy; DC Comics, the origin of Superman
and Batman. What other productions have they created? What
inspired the characters? Are there any other stories/programmes/
films connected with these creators or stories e.g. Angel, the spinoff series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

TIP! Although the audio that accompanies readers is mainly seen


as a tool for extensive activities, it can also be used for intensive
listening. Short sections of the text can be used to illustrate and
identify pronunciation, intonation and stress patterns.

Story preview: before reading the story, play sequences of audio


from the beginning, middle and end of the story. Discuss what
type of story it is, the genre, the characters and what events might
take place. This audio glimpse gives the students a preview of the
characters and relationships with each other early in the story, as
well as activating any prior knowledge of the text.
Chapter preview: to introduce a new chapter, play the beginning
of the chapter and then pause, giving the students an
opportunity to feed back. What happened in the previous section,
what happened in the extract just played, what do they predict
will happen next?
Audio Adjectives: make a list of adjectives describing characters
that are used in the book and pre-teach them to the class. Play
short sections of the tape to the class and ask students to match
the words or sets of words to each character.
Key words: listen to a section, then students work in pairs and
list key words they think they will hear in the next section. Listen
and check.
Gap-fill: give students an extract from the tapescript with words
blanked out which they complete whilst listening. Alternatively,
give students the tapescript with some words substituted with
incorrect details. Students listen and correct the mistakes.
Gist listening: give students sentences with phrases or events
from the section about to be played. Ask them to listen and put
the information in order.
Dictogloss: pre-teach any necessary vocabulary. Students listen
twice to a short section of the text without pausing. Students make
notes of key words or phrases, then work together in pairs to
recreate a version of the text. The class can compare their different
versions, and listen once again with the transcript.
Conversation completion: prepare the text blanking out
elements of dialogue. Students discuss in pairs what they think
was said, and then listen to the audio twice to help them hear
the missing words.
Ordering: give students words that form sentences from the text,
and ask students to put them in order. Listen to see if they are
correct. Alternatively, give them sentences from a paragraph that
are in the wrong order and ask them to put them in the right
sequence. Listen and check.

AUDIO ACTIVITIES
One of the main benefits of readers is that students can listen to
the audio whilst following the text on the page. This develops
eye-reading speed and increases confidence in reading. The
advantages include:
Students hear how words should be pronounced whilst
seeing them written on the page, making a connection
between aural and visual interpretations of the word
Students hear the intonation and stress patterns of the text
being read aloud, aiding comprehension and grammar and
giving them an example of English being read by a native
speaker in a context that interests them
Listening to a story being read aloud allows for
interpretation of the story on another level; the mood of
the characters and their relationships/attitudes to one
another as demonstrated through vocal expression
If students are given listening assignments to complete at
home, they have control of the audio and can stop, start
and repeat as much as required. The process is
autonomous and student can organise and control the
listening activity completely independently of the teacher

Pronunciation practice
Stress & intonation: give the students some new sentences
from the text. Ask them to read them aloud in pairs and decide
whether the voice should go up or down at the end of sentences,
and where the stress falls in the sentence. Listen and check.
Pauses: working in pairs, students think about where in a
paragraph the reader should pause. Compare responses as a
class, then listen and check.
Drilling: ask students to repeat short sentences after the tape,
copying pronunciation, stress and intonation.
Weak forms: take a section of the text and blank out unstressed
words. In pairs, students consider what these words might be,
and then listen to the audio to fill in the spaces. Over the page is
an example of this activity, using a short extract from chapter 2 of
Smallville: Arrival. The unstressed words that could be removed
are in italics:

Although reading aloud is an important skill, it is one that can


cause anxiety for a student learning a foreign language, especially
if the text is completely new to them. As their focus will be on
pronunciation and avoiding making mistakes, they will not absorb
the language and comprehension will be minimal.
TIP! If students are required to read aloud at any point, they
should be given time to prepare a passage beforehand and/or
listen to the audio first.

Scholastic Ltd

Using Readers

still a beneficial activity. Remind them that the main focus is gist,
or set them limited tasks to watch for specific information.

Jonathan and Martha took the boy home to their farm.


They named him Clark. They didnt tell him about his
arrival. They didnt tell other people either. If someone
asked, they said, Hes Marthas sisters son. She died.
They didnt want Clark to be different from other
children. But he was different. He was special. He was very
strong. He was very fast. Nothing hurt him. When he was
eight, a big milk can hit his head. It didnt hurt him.

TIP! When using film in the classroom, be aware that the content
of the corresponding Reader may have been modified to make it
appropriate for a teenage audience. The films may have local
classifications that should be considered, and it is recommendable
to watch the film first in order to assess any culturally sensitive
material, such as language or behaviour that would be
inappropriate.

Verb tenses: Choose a paragraph with multiple examples of ed


endings for the past simple blanked out. Ask students to think
about how the words are pronounced and which of the three
ed endings they should use, such as decided, watched and
played. With lower levels, students can determine which form of
the present simple should be used according to the person being
referred to; he goes or they go, for example. Listen and check.
Syllables: ask students to read a passage and determine how
many syllables words have. Listen and check.

If the only screen version available has subtitles, it can still be


used as they can be exploited for language use in the classroom,
or covered up if you do not want students to see them. Even
dubbed films can be used without sound for visual activities,
examples of which are given below.
TIP! When playing the DVD in class, make sure that you can
control the machine from where you are standing when the
sequence plays.

ORIGINAL FILM/TV PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES

Preview

Many Scholastic ELT Readers are based on media titles that are
popular with teenagers all over the world, making them
immediately motivating and interesting for the students. If a
learner has seen a film and enjoyed it, they will feel positive
towards the Reader from the beginning. As well as being available
on many local or cable channels, both the movies and the TV
series of most titles are available on DVD. Whether you have access
to the screen version may influence your choice of Reader, and
might have an impact on the way you use the text in class. There
are many things you can do with screen versions that will have
both linguistic and motivational benefits for your students, and
activities are not restricted to watching the film after the book has
been finished. Many argue that shorter, very specific activities will
benefit learners more than watching the film from beginning to
end. Some activity suggestions are outlined below.
Video is considered to be an authentic text as it is created for
an audience of native speakers. It will give learners a great deal
of satisfaction if they can understand even a small portion of the
dialogue and what happens on screen, and there are activities
that are suitable even with the lowest level students.

Story preview: play three short sequences from the beginning,


middle and end of the programme. Discuss what genre of story
it is, who the characters are and what events students might
expect. This could be a preview to reading the story, although be
careful not to disclose the ending!
Chapter preview: preview what might happen in the next
chapter. If there are differences between the film and the book,
ask students to identify what they are.
Preview without sound: Watch part of the film without sound.
Ask questions to elicit details of the plot, characters, settings and
vocabulary based on what the students know already about the
text and what they can see.
Chapter heading: As a gist activity, show students a scene from
the film, perhaps without sound, which is also focused on in the
book. Ask students to guess the chapter heading as a preview to
reading the chapter.
Images preview: if students are not familiar with the film or the
television programme, use the book and DVD/video cover,
images from the reader and the blurb on the back of the book to
introduce the story. Ask them to predict how the film will begin,
then play the first scene to see if they were right.

TIP! Low-level students could watch visually stimulating parts of


the film with minimal dialogue, such as the opening scene of
Superman Returns, and describe the scene using only the present
simple.

Focus on setting
Vocabulary: choose a section of the film where the visuals are
very strong and there is a substantial amount of material for
description; the opening scene is often a good source of this.
Pause or put the player on still and cover the screen with small
pieces of paper. Pre-teach the vocabulary that students will need
to describe the scene/environment, and then gradually remove
the pieces of paper as they describe what they can see. Divide
the class into teams to introduce a competitive element!
Drawing: find a still that has potential for description activities.
Students work in teams. Half the team can see the screen and
they have to direct the others to draw the scene either on the
whiteboard or on paper within a time limit.

Watching a screen version can aid understanding as there are


paralinguistic features available for interpretation; background
noise, voice intonation, rhythm and stress, visual clues such as
body language and facial expressions, characters appearances
and settings/environments. Watching film is captivating, and
provides language in context. The setting of a scene and the body
language of actors can give a clear indication of whether the
language they are using is formal or informal. In addition, the
wealth of cultural information that can be gleaned from watching
a programme or film can be exploited in class.
Watching a film or television programme for pleasure is a very
different activity to watching in class for language practice. When
we go to the cinema we are passive viewers and the film entertains
us. However, watching a film for language development is an
active process and students may find it strange if they are not
accustomed to it. Keeping extracts short and focused is one way
to keep learners engaged in active analysis, especially if students
have specific activities to complete.

Focus on dialogue
When preparing activities using the screen version of the text,
remember that dialogue will differ and will be more complex;
colloquialisms, different accents and speeds of speech will
challenge the learner. It is important to select scenes to analyse
that will not overwhelm students, and that where appropriate
they have access to a script at the end of the activity. Intensive
listening of film dialogue can be difficult and it is likely that they
will not understand everything, even at a higher level. It is worth
pointing this out to students before viewing.
Subtitles: if the film has subtitles in students L1, cover up the
subtitles and ask students to recreate the dialogue in their own
language based on what they hear. Alternatively, students read the
subtitles covering the rest of the screen, and write the dialogue
in English.

TIP! When preparing activities, keep sections short. With an


extract of more than 10 minutes it will be difficult to keep
students interested, and will take a lot of preparation to make
activities worthwhile.

Reassure your students that they are unlikely to understand


every word of the dialogue, but that using the screen version is
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Using Readers

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Who said what: from a section of the film that is also present in
the book, take some important dialogue and ask students to
guess or remember who said the words. Then play the section of
the film for students to check. Alternatively, you could play a
scene without sound, and ask students to remember the
dialogue, recreating it in pairs based on their knowledge of the
story so far.
Scripting: watch a scene with no sound and ask students to create
their own script to be spoken over the silent section of the film.

If you ask your students to use the Readers at home independently


of each other and of the teacher, it is important that they have a
process of accountability in order to monitor their progress.
TIP! The Self-Study Activities at the back of the book can be
used effectively for consolidation tasks at home. They have been
targeted specifically to aid comprehension and incorporate the
vocabulary that appears in the New Words section at the back
of the book. In addition to exercises such as matching, true or
false and ordering, the Self-Study Activities also include openended questions to encourage learners to think about what
might happen next. Answers to the questions are in the Teacher
Resource Sheets included in this booklet.

Focus on character
Allocating adjectives: pre-teach some adjectives describing
character traits or physical descriptors. Students have to group
them together guessing which adjectives describe one person
(for example, 4 people, 12 adjectives, and they have to decide
which ones correspond). Then watch a scene and learners allocate
the adjectives to different people. Feedback as a class to see if
they all agree. If not, discuss why, looking at the scene in detail to
provide justification.
Character profiling: learners prepare a description of a character,
detailing what they look like, their interests and personality. They
read them out and the class has to guess which character is
being described.

Book reviews: ask students to complete a book review after they


finish a text. These can form a class collection which learners can
use as a reference to help them choose their next book.
Reading rings: students reading the same text can check with
each other at the start of each class to ensure they make progress
and to clarify any comprehension queries. They can summarise
what has happened in the section of the story, and discuss
character and plot developments.
Partner support: encourage two or more people at least to
choose the same Reader so they can compare ideas, feed back
and clarify comprehension queries.
Guidance: give your students guidance as to how much of the
text they should be reading each time, such as two pages a day,
and whether they should be listening to the audio and following
the text at the same time.

Focus on comprehension
Short clips can be played numerous times to ensure that students
reach a high comprehension level of the scene, and to give them
the maximum opportunity to absorb the information on multiple
levels.
Plot tracking: early in the film choose a scene which comes at a
crucial point in the plot. Ask students to draw a timeline or flow
chart up to this point explaining what has happened. If the film
is one that most students have seen, ask them to write their own
version of the plot.
Sound only: play a clip without the picture (adjust the brightness
or contrast or cover the screen). Ask students to listen, make notes
and then in pairs work out what happened in the scene who was
present, what they talked about, where they were etc. Feedback
ideas as a class and watch the video to see if they were right.
Prediction: after reading a chapter show the same section from
the film. Pause the film at an important moment, and ask students
to remember or predict what happens next; who says what and
what elements of action take place.
Recap: Use a section of the video (perhaps without sound) to
recap what happened in the previous chapter. Play the sequence
without sound and ask students to retell the chapter as a class,
saying once sentence each. Alternatively, use a still as a prompt,
choosing an image that incorporates the main elements of the
section.
Spot the mistakes: half the class (group A) watch a section of
the video and make notes to retell the story. Working in pairs
when the class come together, group A retell the story to their
group B partners. The storytellers make three deliberate mistakes
in their retelling of the story, and group B then watch the section
and identify the three mistakes that their partners made.

GUIDELINES FOR PHOTOCOPIABLE WORKSHEETS


(see overleaf)
Worksheet A: Word & Character Association
Take words of a particular type (adjectives for example) from the
text and write them at random in the word box at the top of the
worksheet. Stick pictures and/or write names to identify the four
characters on the worksheet. Photocopy one worksheet per
student. Ask students to match the words with the characters
they correspond to and write the words underneath the image.
When choosing the words decide whether you want the answers
to be clear cut, or whether words could be matched with more
than one character; make this clear to the students when giving
instructions.

Worksheet B: Book Review


Photocopy one worksheet per student and ask them to complete
the worksheet after finishing a book. Remind students that they
should give a personal response, and that it does not necessarily
have to be positive. Ask students to give the book a star rating out
of five, colouring in the number of stars they award the book.

Reviewing the film


Review: students become film critics and write a review of the
film considering the plot, action, special visual effects, and so on.
Character analysis: after watching the film, students discuss the
characters. Who was their favourite character and why; what was
their contribution to the story; what were their strengths and
weaknesses; was there anything they did not like about the
characters or the way they behaved?
Ending: discuss whether or not they liked the ending, and if not,
how they think it should have been different. If they had not seen
the film before, was it the ending they expected?
Criticism: ask students to be critical of the film and discuss
elements of the story they did not like. Perhaps there was too
much violence, not enough action or they did not like the
romance storyline.
Praise: students identify their favourite scene in the film. Ask them
to describe what happens in the scene and why they chose it.
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Using Readers

WORKSHEET A: WORD AND CHARACTER ASSOCIATION


NAME:

CLASS:

WORD BOX

Match the words in the box above with the characters below. Words may be connected with
more than one character.

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Using Readers

WORKSHEET B: BOOK REVIEW


NAME:

CLASS:

Title of book:
Level:

Date started:

Date Finished:

Write a summary of the book: what kind of book is it, what are the themes, who are the
characters, what is the book about?

Give your opinion of the book. Do you like it? Why (not)? Who are your favourite characters
and why? Do you like the story?

My star rating for this book is:


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Using Readers